Jim Trainer

Archive for the ‘Correspondence’ Category

Shrieks from Paradise#26: Pitch to Writing On The Air, KOOP 91.7fm

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Correspondence, journalism, Letter Writing, Poetry, publishing, RADIO, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, WRITING PROCESS on February 17, 2016 at 9:04 am

The Office of Jim Trainer
709 Rio Grande
Austin TX

Host Joe Brundidge&Martha Louise Hunter
Writing On The Air
KOOP Radio 91.7fm
Austin TX

Hello!

I moved to Austin dejected, at the age of 34. The first book I checked out of the Library was Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life, a biography of Charles Bukowski by Howard Sounes. It was profound for me to discover that one of my literary heroes began writing poetry at 35.

I worked a string of mind-numbing jobs. I drank. Slept with women. I devoted myself to the page. It became a necessity. Those mornings coming off graveyard, when I sat at the President XII Tower with a quart of beer, are burned into my memory. Any time I start to feel like a failure, I remember a time when failure was imminent and very real-I’d never be a rockstar or anything besides a temp worker doing graveyard shifts in the live music capital of the world. I remember that I took a step then, a leap really, I wrote and I kept writing.

Since then I have had two volumes of poetry published, the second coinciding with the founding of Yellow Lark Press, my own publishing company. I’ve quit drinking and got my certification to teach Yoga. Austin has been very good to me. I fly to my hometown of Philly twice a year. The readings there are great. Great attendance and a good show. The music shows are amazing. I feel that maybe I should revisit my hopes and dreams, that I still got a shot at this. This rock and roll journalist poet dream brought into view by greats like Bukowski and another Hank, Henry Rollins and the good Doctor Hunter Thompson. I fine tune my health and try to get my head together. I need to get back out on the road.

I would love to discuss September, my new poetry collection, as well as my continuing and well-documented trek down the savage road to becoming a writer and living my dreams. Please let me know if I can provide you with a copy of September or anything else. I love radio, love KOOP and Writing On the Air, and would love to hear from you.

Thank you,
Jim Trainer
Austin TX

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Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#25: Victory

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Correspondence, Poetry, poetry submission, publishing, submitting poetry, Writing on February 12, 2016 at 10:39 pm

Dear Mr. Trainer –

Thank you so much for your submission.  If it is still available, we would like to publish your poem “The Gambling Life” in the next issue of The Waggle.  If this is acceptable, please let me know, and send an author bio of 3-4 sentences.
I look forward to hearing from you.
sincerely,
Annette Lapointe
Managing Editor

Shrieks from Paradise#13a: Dear Wiggs

In Correspondence, Letter Writing, recovery, sober, sobriety, Writing on February 5, 2016 at 9:41 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
Between Trouble&the Blues
Lucky Town, USA

Wiggs Daniels
c/o Hope By the Sea
27432 Calle Arroyo
San Juan Capistrano, CA

7/1/11

Yo-

Well, we made it through.  We were kings those late nights and the pale light of day cut us down the middle but we made it.  I don’t like looking back and I can’t see ahead.  Hope you’re enjoying the tranquility&peril of a sober mind.  Sobriety always worked for me.  It’s enlightening to learn that the Beast within dwarfs any&all drama they may visit upon us.  It’s like being on fire and walking through a paper wall.  That easy.  Your own trouble, aho, now there’s the Problem.  But I can handle my trouble brother, can you?

Maybe it’s my upbringing, or lack thereof, but I liked being a jackoff.  Can you think of a better way to spend 20 years than burning down the streets of your hometown in a Japanese 4-door with a bottle of Ephedrine and whiskey in the jar?  Maybe not but it got old quick.  Buggerall so did the body.   In a perfect world I’d still be drinking corn liquor and stowed away with Katy D. on Hazel Street.   Thank the gods that we weren’t 25 forever.

Or curse them when all you’ve got at the end of the day is sweet memory, loaded and stinging.  Back in Double Aught&Buck there were plenty of women and madness was fun.  The chamber’s clicked three times since then.  The die’s been cast.  Welcome to the New Century.  Count your blessings, be thankful for things like shoes and kiss your middle class goodbye.  It could be worse, we could live in Bahrain.

It’s getting hard and harder to make it, Wiggs.  We’re clocked in allot longer than we’re clocked out.  The shit has started rolling and for those of us who live downhill even wisdom won’t help.  We both know that the dumb only get dumber.  They get violent too but I’m in a bad mood so I embrace it and take to the streets.

This much madness is too much sorrow.

your Friend,
jimtrainer.net

Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#23 : Dear Charlie O’Hay

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Charlie O'Hay, Correspondence, Jim Trainer, Letter Writing, Poetry, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on September 18, 2015 at 2:06 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
709 Rio Grande
Austin, TX

11/15/13, 12:36 PM

Dear Charlie O’Hay-

I’m out front Dirty Bill’s and it sure feels good&warm in that Texzas sun.  The girl who usually works happy hour is off, my boss lets me eat here as long’s I pick him up a Blackened Fish salad and “hurry back”.  I hope you don’t mind me writing.  I barely know you, if at all, but I write letters to folks when I can’t write, or, to justify a few beers while on shift and living tot die.

I was about to write:  “We poets…”, but, fuck that.  I wouldn’t read anything that said that.  While it’s true that I don’t know you, we must test each other’s mettle, Charlie.  We must bleed the Poet’s Heart and see if we can be as vulnerable&strong as people like Lamaont Steptoe or Adrienne Rich.

I think we can agree that the finest poem we’ll ever write will be the first beer of the day, and the sun on your back is a reason to live…so, I don’t think I’m too out of my deepth in writing you.

We will live to see stranger things than our own mortality, Brother.  And, ironically or no, survival is prize.  And children.  And dog love.  I’ll have to cut this short be cause here she comes-the other kind.

Love is pain, but as we close the distance between us&the Sun, all is burning.  (She’s a blonde and you know how that goes.)

Yours,
TRAINER

Heart Work

In Correspondence, Letter Writing, Writing on September 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

#letterday #goingforthepost #goingforthethroat

People keep saving me. I’m inches from the shark shallows, Mr.Motherfucker is at the door and the backyard’s full of jilting lovers and phantom brides. And then I’ll get a message, like the one above, from Brother Chris. I wrote Chris one afternoon on a mountain in upstate NY. I took to writing letters after the good Doctor Thompson, who had upwards of 25,000 letters in his archive when he died. And I know that any excuse or reason to write is good, but even then, when the world is at my neck and time has branded me with its claws, I know I can sit down at the Great White machine and work it out. Send it out. To you good reader. Because you are infinitely more inspiring than my old ass mama’s boy blues. And then you write back and I’m astounded and thrilled that writing, communicating, has become my life. How fortunate. How miraculous, that the short story I wrote at the age of 10 about a pudgy, pigeon-toed Italian kid who could go beyond the walls into another world has come true. Then, when I can’t even write about not being able to write, I’ll send out word. Send you a letter. Walt Whitman was right y’all. And I contain you.

Down at the Office, Fridays can be a bit of a jackoff. Send me your address and I’ll write you a letter. If you’ve sent me your address already, rest assured, you’re on the list (but feel free to remind me), you might even be next and my love will be with you.
Always.

Go for the post.
Jim Trainer
Austin, TX

Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#22: PUBLISHED

In Austin, Being A Writer, Correspondence, going for the throat, Poetry, poetry submission, Submitting on August 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm

GREETINGS ALIEN

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Thank you all so much for contributing to this time capsule of art! We are celebrating this coming together of talent on AUGUST 29TH AT THE MOHAWK. You get a free copy of the zine and you are on the guest list for the show!

If you aren’t in Austin, we can mail it to you, so just write back and get us your address.

Tell your mom and dad, tell your grandma and aunts and friends that love you that they can get a copy HERE!: http://rawpawshop.com/collections/raw-paw-zine/products/raw-paw-vol-6-alien

HOPE TO SEE YOU ON SATURDAY!

Love,
Raw Paw

The Friend Catcher

In alcoholism, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, blues, Correspondence, getting sober, going for the throat, Letter Writing, mental health, Music, music performance, Performance, punk rock, recovery, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, song, songwriting, Spoken Word, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on August 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm
The number one thing that makes us grow as human beings is pain.
-Damien Echols on spending eighteen years on death row for a crime he did not commit.

Jimbo 🙂  Thanks so much for the letter and poem.  The thought and intention put into it is palpable and exactly what I needed.  I forgot how powerful words can be in this form.  Thanks for reminding me.  I’ll say it made me feel inspired and pheonix-like, ha ha.  I’m going to keep it with me on the road.  I’ll keep you posted too
.
-Brother Chris

Y’all sure know how to make a guy feel loved.  And it’s just like you said you’ve got to be the love you seek.  Which is lofty and idealistic and perfect for an old romantic like me.  And there needs to be a saying for when good shit keeps happening.  Am I right?  I mean, we know the hits keep coming is a good one when the shitstorm is raining down and the mud is rising up.  There’s Kismet, that wink from out in the unknown saying ‘Yass‘ ‘Go Forward’,  or ‘Word’ … I’m not examining this journalistically, but do we not have some colloquialism or turn of phrase for when good fortune continues to arrive?  It just gets better and better?  You kidding me?  That’s a go-to, for me, when the shit’s so bad you gotta attack it with marrow scraping sarcasm.  Ultimately, when you’ve spent the last 25 years battling depression you have the luxury of not feeling bad.  Not ever feeling good, mind you, and when I say not feeling bad I mean not feeling like there are two tons of hot metal slowly pouring down from a white sky of pain and just when you’re numb as a statue, the sun sinks, the heat gives and you’re left like some life-sized figurine, the night air sticky and humid and giving the copper of your flesh a patina of green.  I don’t know the parlance of victory or strength, let alone the unassuming joy in eternity’s sunrise. All I know is I haven’t smiled so much in a very long time, last night, beginning to read all your wonderful comments.  As a recovering depressaholic I’m loathe to hang my hat on any kind of cure-all but it sure is nice when I rediscover and Y’ALL REMIND ME THANK YOU VERY MUCH, what this work is for and exactly what we’re doing here.  With the blog and the everything, what is it, we’re sending out, to other souls like radio, to connect.  Could it be that you, my followers, are all part of my generation?  Does that even fucking matter?  I’ve made connections with folks I never would’ve even met, and I continue to connect with them in profound, life affirming ways.  My letter to Brother Chris, quoted above for example.  Maybe I’ll reprint my initial letter to him some Letter Day down the road when I can’t come up with  even a pastiche of a blog like the last one (let alone a slick 6 or mean 8).  All I wrote to him-all I did-was shine back what he had only been shining out.  I wished him well, in print and earnestly ( I can’t even begin to describe my joy about the power of the written/typed word, so I won’t ).  I wrote him a letter.  Remember those?  Before all of this, ever went down?  Before the Terrible Century, back when rock and roll meant so fucking much and the attention and the girls were only caveats?   We played it like we meant it because we fucking did.  Now that that storm of anger/August has passed like a warhead, and I can walk down west 6th with a little Philly in my step, I’ve caught up on sleep and I can dig my heels in a faceoff with my anger, do work and get back to the grind.  As far as your boundless love and strength, sent to me vis-a-vis Facebook and etc.,  y’all sure know how to make a guy feel loved.  Oh, and I never had a problem with anger as an emotion.  Aho.  It’s just that I’m too old to be missing sleep over it.  My needs in service to the body are many.  In some kind of cosmic joke, my hatred and anger have raged on and only grown ha ha ha but the body is tired and soft.  But also wisdom has been accrued, even all those fuckaround years when I thought it was a curse, I have done nothing if not gotten wise, and I can’t unsee it which of course was the problem…oh christ I’m a riot eh?  From the depths of loathing to the christ like idealism of a poet.  Believe me, I know all about being me.  Which could be a perfect beginning to wisdom, Know Thyself.  And as a superstitious X-depressaholic I’ll play it safe, hedge my bets and say that on my good days I have found a way to put rock and roll into writing.  Songwriting, well, let’s open that can of snakes some other time, eh good reader?  When I say y’all are keeping me alive you have no idea how true it is.  We keepers of the flame, old punkrockers and yogis and wives and laborers.  Oh yeah and the last part, the alive part…with my phasers set to choke the last 2 weeks I had forgotten to be that wisdom.  Alive.

And here for you.
Trainer
Austin, TX

Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#19: Dear Reverend

In Being A Writer, Correspondence on December 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm

The Bard of Bettie Naylor
Royal Blue Grocery
Hippie Town, USA

Reverend J.S.Woolery
Between Trouble&The Blues
San Marcos, TX

9/7/14 2:40 PM

if the blues don’t kill me, boys I’ll never die
-Steve James

Sir-

We will live to see stranger things than our own mortality. The worst horrors and petty piss-ons of life are just a drop in the cup compared to our blues. But our blues has made us strong, if not resourceful.

They play the worst music here at Royal Blue but it’s my office away from home so whaddiyagonnado?
Kids today don’t understand that this music sucked when it was popular, when we were young men and believed in things like love and strength. Adam Ant and the Cure, Destiny’s Child-this was the shit blasting out the winners’ sports cars as we brazenly and bitterly stuck our head into the wind on the dirty streets of our hometown.

But enough of that ballyoo, I want to know what happened. I was riding high this Spring and heading into summer I thought I had said goodbye to the blues forever. I was falling in love, had poems accepted to several zines and even lectured at Texas State. Ha. I thought I had it whipped, Bud. What I presented to the CTWP that day was true; I believed it. I won’t say that I don’t write. My worst day is heaps better than my best day before, but I’m choked with grief and loss and I mostly just sideline it on the roof with cheap white wine until the sun sets and I can drink the Boss’ Vod.

I’m no fool. I never could have dreamed of the life I’m living now. I’ve become everything I wanted to. There is still so much to do but the view is grand. And still I find-those same old problems-a kinghell dissatisfaction with everything and everyone, a pack a day habit and a monkey on my back.

I guess this shit’s supposed to make you strong. And it will. But I carry it with me, J. All the loneliness of the world. And I’ll never live down that I have become exactly like my old man. Bitter and closed but never able to stave off a hypersensitivity that the Buddhists strive for but the Western man just smokes away and bides his time the best he can.

The Western Man is fucked. Don’t get me wrong I am a feminist. I was raised by women. But the frontier is closed. There’s nothing left worth killing except ourselves and the jury’s even out on that one.
The point of this letter Reverend is to say that it hasn’t gotten any worse but slightly better, until we’re attacked by it, this silent stranger within, who wants to choke all the joy out of the life we’ve built and fought and strived for. This motherfucker wants to burn it all down and worse, he’d love to sit down at the feast with you and make sure you don’t enjoy a second of it.

That’s not the point either, Reverend. We isolationists should do well to welcome the Harvest, celebrate the razing of fools and give cheer even of the ruse that once had us spellbound-mistaking a silly girl’s game for love. But let’s face it the real mistake is in thinking that there is anything that will save us. We don’t need saving. We’re doing better than our Fathers and if they could they would tell us that we did good. They’re proud. My point is that all mindfuckery and subterfuge, all draining dross and styrofoam love has only brought us closer. I believe it and I’ve got to. My days are filled with nothing. An abyss that I will fill up with letters to friends, poetry and Creative (or otherwise) Non-Fiction.

I won’t be coming around on the idea of togetherness. Because it doesn’t last and it never felt right even when it did. I believe in the road and I believe in the work. They were only in the way of the work and every heartbreak paves the way. Every disappointment, every ridiculous lie we hung onto is one less thing in the way. Did it hurt? Better believe. And does every day. But for every thing I’ve lost I’ve found myself. I’m with Rollins on this one. Folk music pisses me off and I’m counting down the days until I can go dark on the social networks. Get down on Vonnegut time. Surpass these zeniths of hatred and coast on a plain of dispassion.

The terrible summer has ceded. Time will do away with them and leave me with my pain. If I can’t get any work done at home then I’ll setup shop out here at the cafe and crank out another angry missive to my Friend, the Reverend.

Stronger,
Trainer
Royal Blue Grocery
Austin, TX

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#5: Dear D.C.

In christianity, Correspondence, D.C. Bloom, heavy metal, Letter Writing, school on September 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
Fox Den
Hippie Town, USA

D.C. Bloom
Ghetto Apartment
Road to Recovery, TX

8/18/12

Greetings-

You’re gonna burn in hell!
You know how many times I’ve heard that, D.C.? Enough times to doubt its veracity and especially after all these years.
For true.
The first time I heard it was when we lived in Friendswood, TX and my mom converted us to Baptist. I don’t have many memories from my childhood in Texas, but I distinctly remember a sweaty old man standing by a giant, creepy bathtub in some derelict building outside Houston. I was already baptized as a Catholic, was there really a need for me to go underwater with this coke-bottle wearing pervert with a weird grin? I didn’t think so. Aho, and even at 5 years of age, I knew how to Fuck-The-Bullshit and get to the free hot dogs&taters even if I was going to burn in hell.

The next time I heard it was in seventh (7th) grade. The middle school I was attending (or “the Building”, as I referred to it then) had implemented a “NO HEAVY METAL TEE-SHIRT” policy. They gathered us all in the school auditorium to make it official. I was wearing my ROOT OF ALL EVIL Slayer tee and sitting w/my friends in the third row. DAMAGE, INC. and Randy Rhodes/Ozzy Osbourne Tribute tees and etc. The long&short of it is, they made us turn our tee-shirts inside out that day, D.C. We could wear whatever we wanted to school (it was America after all) but when we got there we’d be greeted by Mr.Washinski, the woodshop teacher (sociopath), and he would make us turn our tee-shirts inside out. We could refuse, but we would be suspended and we were probably going to burn in hell for our taste in music and choice of apparel anyway.
What happened next is predictable&funny, if you like cheap thrills and are somehow, after all these years of abuse, still interested in history . What happened is-they started playing heavy metal on the radio.
Now, today, even cops have tattoos and they’re probably bumpin’ Hatebreed when they pull you over off Kinney Street during SX. Or, they’re listening to Marilyn Manson as they blast the “sand-niggers” back to their Jesus Christ holes over in the middle east. For true. I don’t need to tell YOU. We are warriors and we know. If we don’t, we’re wise enough to Walk On, with our heads down, and make it back to our little corner of nowhere for a stiff drink and a perverted session w/some poor woman’s Facebook photos.

My point?
The reason You’re gonna’ burn in hell rang so empty back then is b/c warriors like you&I know, D.C. We know there is a hell and that hell is a place. And that place is right here&now, motherfucker. What else? Suffering these jackboots in line in front of us at the Whole Foods Industrial Complex or out front Wal-Mart stabbing the sky with misspelled signs against: condoms&Facebook&rap music&whatever else they can’t understand which is pretty much anything that’s not on t.v. or in the news.
Who cares, D.C.? Not me, that’s for true. I’m living in the last Confederate Governor’s old place, down Judge’s Hill, off west 6th. I was born on March 6, the day of the Beauty Lovers. I don’t trust anyone (let alone my own mother for that whole Baptist debacle) but I fall in love with everyone I meet.

Well.
I’ve really gone off the rails with this one. Letting you know I’m the most hopeless romantic this side of Dylan Thomas wasn’t the point of this missive. It wasn’t my point at all. My point is, we will live to see stranger things than our own mortality, D.C. For true.
Cannibals&millionaires&sex addicts&Californians-it all comes home to roost.

Take the X-shaped chocolate laced w/ psilocybin that sat in my freezer until last night, for example. Its enabled me to out-weird the frat boys camped out&pissing in the bushes behind Fox Den this morning. Its made me strong&triumphant and even with no wine left or a coherent picture on the screen of this old black&white, I am content.
Contentment is key, D.C. Contentment is the difference between singing high lonesome songs into the Night and simply writing a letter to a friend by the light of an old black&white t.v. with a candle of San Miguel softly burning in the ruined rooms of the High Life.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen
yours,
Jim Trainer
Austin, TX